On December 9, 2012 the Sandy Hook Elementary school principal, Dawn Hochsprung, said goodbye to her daughter. Neither one of them could have imagined it would be the last time they would see each other.
Erica Lafferty wrote a touching piece published by the Huffington Post in which she details the last time she saw her mom alive. It was a cold Sunday afternoon, she writes, and she was packing up to return home and get ready for the new week after a visit.
As was her usual custom, her mom walked outside to say her goodbyes and after a “Dawn hug, mommy kiss” and “I love you baby,” Erica was on her way. She saw the Sandy Hook principal standing at the top of the driveway waving and smiling. It was the last time Lafferty saw her “best friend in the entire world,” her mother.
— Everytown (@Everytown) December 9, 2014
On December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook principal, mother, grandmother, and friend lost her life while trying to protect her staff during the deadliest school shooting in American history. Suspect Adam Lanza, 20, gunned down his own mother before heading out to the elementary school and killing 27 people, most of them first graders.
As the second anniversary of her mother’s tragic death approaches, Erica Lafferty hopes Dawn Hochsprung is looking down on her and smiling. She is also pleading with people all around the nation to take action in preventing another tragedy like the one her family and the community has gone through.
“This year, I ask you all to honor my mother’s life with action. I ask you all to take one small step to honor her, and all of the others whose lives were taken far too soon by gun violence. Make a phone call to your legislators, sign a petition, contribute to a gun violence prevention organization, go to a rally, host a house party — help me fight the epidemic of gun violence that kills 86 Americans every day. Help me prevent other families from feeling the constant pain that I feel every second of every day.”
“There is no action too big or too small. I ask you to do something — anything to help this movement. Together I know we can prevent gun violence and save lives.”
Shortly after 9:35 a.m. on December, 14, 2012, Adam Lanza broke his way into Sandy Hook Elementary where he encountered its principal, Dawn Hochsprung, who was in a staff meeting and came out to see what the commotion at the front door was about. Hochsprung and three other school employees had time to warn the rest of her staff by yelling out “Shooter! Stay put!” before being shot dead by Lanza.
[Image via Erica Lafferty]